The Marmite of Marketing

Some people love it, some people loath it.  And I'm not talking about Marmite here – (for the record I do like ‘it’).  I'm talking networking.

Even people that go to networking groups sometimes don’t want to be there because it means that they have to speak to other people and/or stand up with all eyes upon them and talk about what it is they do.  It actually takes quite a chunk of time to turn up and deliver a 30-second or 1 minute speech about what it is you do.  As well as a fairly good dollop of self-confidence.  Go ahead, give it a try…stand-up and tell me all about your business in exactly 1-minute, no more, no less without preparing for it.  Hard isn't it?

Lord Sugar is known for disliking networking.  He has likened it to sharing a male cow’s excrement with others instead of working.    He was, of course, referring to the type of networking that requires you to turn up at a particular time & place & give out as many business cards as possible.

An associate of Craig’s has made a successful business out of networking – doing it and teaching it. We ourselves have a ‘Totem 7 Tips’ on how to make the most out of it.  We've both done it, although we don’t do it very much any more, purely because what we've learned from it is that it doesn't actually work for our business.

It is my experience, that there seems to be an optimum niche for a networking event.  If you are a sole trader, particularly a ‘trades person’ then you are likely to excel.  At one particular group I used to attend a very nice man joined having literally just started his own business.  He was a plumber.  He attended 2-weeks on the trot and then ever after sent his apologies.  Week after week however, he was getting recommendations from other members having done work for them or someone they knew.  We ourselves found a decorator and got a good price on a washing machine at such a group.

So, the moral of this tale is:  to attend a networking event, in person, be prepared to put a good amount of time into your ‘stand up speech’ and be the proactive person in the room that is prepared to approach anyone and everyone and get to know them!